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Q uiet L


Sparkle & Blink

as performed on Jul 4 11 @ The Emerald Tablet
2011 Quiet Lightning

art by Julie Michelle edited by Evan Karp

Promotional rights only. This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission from individual authors. The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the internet or any other means without the permission of the author(s) is illegal. Your support is crucial and appreciated.

Q uiet Lightning
is a monthly submission-based reading series with 2 stipulations you have to commit to the date to submit you only get 3-8 min submit ! !

Side A Q
July Westhale Discomfort in A-Frame Amy Glasenapp Space Girls Sarah Page Last Week We Walked Through a Tree Tree Says Aneesa Davenport Have You Ever Regretted Saving Something What You Want to Know About Last Night G. Martinez Cabrera Supplemental Instructions 7

13 15

17 19


Side B L
Juli C. Lasselle Tired of Being Fabulous Chris Carosi Six Rivers Nicole McFeely Kitten Scratches Things You Should Hear Before You Die* Charles Kruger Each Day Try It Again Jared Hannum Eggs Sharon Skolnick-Bagnoli Dream: Indians Bless My Writing Project Laurie Ann Doyle Wings Raised Up SB Stokes For Miguel, While at the Show 29


45 47



61 63


Julie Michelle Frida and the Leaf Fly Away * with Maureen Blennerhassett front cover back cover

Discomfort in A-Frame

jalousieto crack an egg and see the shell shocked into lightening bugs. the coast of which is all wronged up. thick as tarmactransient as wrinkles the window here looks like the window there except that this time the afterwards have us hilted and monikered. pen. man. shipif i split my mouth like a rattled peach and you cross pollinate your scarcity from botanical triumph in the moody slough of roughage, then we juxtapose our roof moss to the highest A-frame. inna momentinhabitants of the friday circular move us from jalousie to lattice-worked from land to tawny i have brought you choke cherry with hopes for the desert chicory and nettle

and triplicates of midnights and the teas they bring ive romanticized garlic for youi have pulled its teeth from the memory of tanworth-upon-avon all the grass that holds the picture frames in place most daysi dont want to see anyone at all, just treehouses. i wantto prefix my carbon filter to annexing the crematorium under humboldt the salty sinews of a favorite redwood stump and all of the places i have ever loved feeling uncomfortable

8 July Westhale

Space Girls

Meyer liked to draw his own girls, because real girls scared him. Real girls did things he didnt understand; they played in little clusters with their heads bowed, not even whispering to each other. When they accidentally stapled their fingers to the tables in the art room, they didnt look surprised when there was no blood. In his drawings, girls wore flower print dresses and played with glittery horses and said nice things to each other about him. In their skies he drew fantastic constellations, and in the spaces between the girls he added mountaintops and shooting stars. He forgot about real girls as he drew, because hed created nicer creatures on the page, out of blankness. He taped the girls up on the walls of his bedroom, and at the end of the school year, there was hardly an inch of white space left. His mother refused to set foot inside, so Meyers stepfather had to come up for a little man-to-man. Meyer, youre in fifth grade, he said. Youll have plenty of time later to be obsessed with women. Like in high school, when its appropriate. But Im not obsessed with women, Meyer wanted to say. These arent even real girls.

His stepfather was careful not to rip the paper as Meyers girls came down, and when the walls were finally white again, Meyer laid the drawings in a Kinkos box and pushed it under the bed. He worried his girls would stop talking now that they were put away, but they still said nice things to each other about him in little whispers at night and asked him how school was going. He told them he was happy it was the last week of the year, even though there were tests in every class. The real girls had been quieter than usual, concentrating, and sometimes one of them would be focusing so hard one of her eyes would pop out and roll across her desk. Meyer tried hard not to look. At lunch, the real girls ate their little white bread sandwiches with the crusts cut off that seemed to have nothing inside. During recess, instead of clustering, they ran around the track, passing easily alongside the sixth graders and coming back without a drop of sweat on their powdery foreheads. One more week, Meyer thought as he sat with the other boys high up on the play structure, watching them. Thats just how girls are, Meyers girls said just before he drifted off to sleep. But not us. On the last day of school, there was a party in every classroom, but the real girls
10 Amy Glasenapp

were nowhere to be found. The teachers tapped their feet, waiting a few extra minutes to start the music. Relieved, the boys cheered, howled, popped balloons underfoot. Meyer drew some girls for his friends, and the boys smiled as they held the pages to their ears. A teacher from another room came around and put gold star stickers on Meyers pictures, telling him he should consider going to some art camp over the summer, but he already knew his mother wouldnt go for it. The whole hall filled with voices. Meyer was happier than hed ever been. Real boys and imaginary girls were at the center of everything, and the teachers gradually faded into the background. After an hour or so, Meyer caught a glimpse of Beverly just outside the door. She was a quiet one; he couldnt recall ever having heard her speak. Come quick, she stuck her head in and yelped, and that was when they all noticed she smelled like smoke. The boys and their teachers followed Beverly out to the field behind the school, where the real girls were standing in a semi-circle, arms outstretched, before a bonfire so enormous it could have been a house burning down. Meyers teacher stayed with the kids while the others ran inside to call for help.

What the hell happened out here? his teacher asked the girls, forgetting that swear words made them giggle. But Meyer could see that something big and dark had crashed on the field, something that wasnt supposed to be there at all, and that instead of twenty-two girls, there were twenty-three.

12 Amy Glasenapp

Last week we walked through a tree.

Last week we walked through a tree. On our way up the mountainside traffic had stopped and you got out to take pictures. I saw Polish motorcycle men sit calmly on their bikes while their skinny companion put a camera in their faces. I nibbled on the cheese I had brought and made sure you kept your eyes on the road. Last week we walked through a tree. We saw trees that give birth to clouds that come from snow, that also deliver snow. We learned about bears that can smell food from three miles away with claws that can open cars. They will eat toothpaste. You need to brush your teeth more. Last week we walked through a tree. Tire pressure was low on the way home we stopped for gas. I envied how good you were to the farmboy who filled our tires with air while I looked at birds. Driving by all those farms coming back was nice until it overwhelmed me with my desire to own one and the music had to be changed and it rained. Last week we walked through a tree. The tree had fallen. Its siblings are the largest living things on earth. Your mother is

dead. We sprinkled her ashes in the creek. You used to play there. Blood ran down my body, like tears. I had to leave and come back.

14 Sarah Page

Tree Says

Tree says Stop, says Look at me, says Stand still, up straight, says Tall, says Now, says Yes, says More, says Breathe. Tree says Let your hair down, says Laugh, says Dance, says DO NOT CUT ME DOWN! Tree says It is not your place to know the things the trees know, thats why only the trees know them. Tree says Everything is wind.


16 Sarah Page

Have You Ever Regretted Saving Something?

Those moving boxes I said would keep, if we flattened and stored them under the bed and behind the doors, lasted through the heat and came in handy in the winter when you left your records and your bills but needed something sturdy in which to carry your knitted hats and gloves, your loose-stitched homemade scarves things that take up lots of space with lots of air. When I got back to the coast, where we left most everything else, I erased all your notes from the margins of Allen Ginsbergs Collected Poems: 19471980, that weighty red book we all find on our shelves but no one wants, and here I had two. In your light pencil lead you posed rhetorical questions I knew the answers to. Now a stack of yearbooks from a school I didnt attend, now a package you long ago marked Audio tapesship to Chicago. But mix tapes are cheaper than blank

tapes, so I slid them back under the bed to wait. You used to write poems about me and then refer to them in conversation: Theres that graceful lack of grace Im talking about when I spit my gum out or dropped an earring. This poem, I guess, is one of those things.

18 Aneesa Davenport

What You Want to Know about Last Night

Then I complimented him on his tie. Not something you could wear, of course, not brown, slim, or striped, not well-matched with pink button-ups or black undershirts, Dickies, Converse, belt buckles, but fitting on a man who wears one every day with a briefcase, slips of paper, etc. When he ducked out of it and gave it to me I tried not to accept, but he said, Take it, to be honest its a B-rate tie on me; youll wear it well, as though I would wear it. I could not help looking at the looseness of his neck where it met his chest, the contrast to the white of his collar; could not help wondering what his wife You, though, you couldnt pull it off. Too young, and it would seem like you did it all the time.


20 Aneesa Davenport

Supplemental Instructions

The first thing you need to learn is that you need to keep the bottle in a safe place and wait. I cant really tell you what youre waiting for. Im still not sure myself. At some point, youll figure things out, though. Someone in your home will tell you what to do. With us, it was our daughter. We didnt believe her at first; we thought she was just talking the way kids domaking things up. Im telling you this so you dont make the same kind of mistake. We had to learn things for ourselves, but with you, thats not possible. Its important that you do what the bottle wants from the get-go. So aside from this letter, you should read the little card thats included in the package, though it wont make sense either. Keep the card handy and look at it from time to time, though. Youll see it talks about the responsibility of owning the bottle and making sure its safe and loved. When we first got it, my wife and I laughed and thought the card was just one of those things that artisanal items sometimes come withlike the cards that you get with lavender soap or herbal tea that talk about health and balance. Its not the same thing though not the same thing at all.

Our daughter was the one who got it and as shes gotten older, shes been better able to explain what the bottle means and what it wants. I cant say for sure, but I imagine you have a child, and he or she will gravitate toward the bottle and be able to understand what the bottle wants or needs at all times. You should listen. Another lesson weve learned the hard way. When Margo was born, she was a fussy baby and she cried almost all the time, but one night while walking her around the house, she stopped crying as soon as we came into the room with the bottle in it. We didnt put it together at first. But by the time she started crawling, it was all we could do to stop her from making her way to the living room where the bottle was. As she got older and started talking, her connection became more obvious. Margo was never one for dolls and she never seemed to want or need a blanket or night light. As long as the bottle was in her room, she was happy. And from what she tells us, the bottle was happy as well. This may sound crazyeven crazier than anything else Ive said thus farbut I need you to bear with me a little longer. The bottle never changes the way it looks, but it lets you know if its happy. This is lesson number three. Try not to fight or
22 G. Gabriel Martinez

be petty with people in your house. The bottle senses that, I think, and according to Margo, it doesnt much like it. After youve fought with someone for one of the million stupid reasons we all seem to fight each other for, you might notice that the bottle will suddenly be in a different, more precarious place in your house. Like on the edge of a table, or on a rickety shelf. You didnt move it. Neither did anyone in the house, and still, itll have moved somehow. This, Margo told us, is a warning. Keep this in mind: if you dont pay attention to the bottles needs, and you ignore its warnings, it will escalate its punishment. Right after you fight with your partner or watch the latest zombie movie (the bottle doesnt like violence of any kind, Margo told us) the bottle will disappear for a while. It literally goes away. So you might start to think that this is a good thing. Then you can go back to your normal life, the way things used to be before. Thats a huge mistake. Consider this lesson four. When the bottle goes away, things happen. Itll be subtle. Small things at first. The number of muggings will go up in Sao Paolo. Or, a big explosion will cause a small window factory in Missouri to close, causing all of its employees to lose their jobs right before

the holidays. The longer the bottle stays away, the more things will happen, and the worse theyll be: a bombing of a synagogue in Jerusalem; North Korea deciding to be a little crazier than usual. These are just a couple of the things that happened when the bottle went away for a few weeks. So you need to keep the bottle safe and you need to keep it happy. But theres something more: the final and most important lesson. At some point youre going to need to let it go. Margo told us that, but we ignored her. Kids just have a way of believing thingsreally believing them. Its absolutely amazing if you think about it. They dont have doubts like we do. If something makes sense to them, they go with it and accept it for all that its worth, which either makes them the most honest people youll ever meet or the best liars. I guess my wife and I couldnt really tell the difference. Please dont let yourselves fall into the same trap. About a year ago, Margo started getting sick, but before thenmaybe a few months or soshe told us it was time to send the bottle away. It didnt make any sense to us. Wed spent years trying to ignore the bottle and then once we started to believe how special it was, and how special we were that we played a
24 G. Gabriel Martinez

role in making the world better, why then would we have to send the thing off? Of course, Margo understood the answer. She told us repeatedly that the bottle wasnt ours. It never was. In addition to not liking violence, the bottle seems to hate ownership. So when you start feeling like it belongs to you, start thinking about sending it off. Dont worry about addressing the package. The mailman will know what to do. The bottle found its way to us. It found its way to you, after all. And, when the time comes, it will find its way to the next person. Im writing all of this to you even though I know youre still going to make mistakes. Youre you and were who we are, so you might make new mistakes that we didnt and maybe the bottle will be different with you somehow. Who knows? What I do know for sure, and what I want you to remember, is that you should believe me about the bottle, about needing to take care of it and about needing to send it off when, years from now, it wants to go and you want to keep it. The bottle is a blessing, but it can be mean and cruel if it needs to be. When Margo first got sick, she told us the bottle was trying to get our attention, and as she got more and more sick, she became adamant that the bottle wanted to be free. At one point, I thought about

throwing the thing away, but she sensed it and made me promise that I wouldnt. One night she was so sick. Not the way you see on TV, either. There was this quietness about her, like a whirlpool that sucked up all the sound and happiness and light in the room. I told her Id send the bottle away, but by then, it was too late. The bottle wouldnt go alone. She told us this without being mad or bitter, and then she closed her eyes. So heres the last thing: not really a lesson, I guess. Were hopeful that Margos wrong about this. That once youre taking care of it, shell come back to us. You always have to be hopeful, right? Its just hard sometimes, though. Hard to know what to think or do. Which decisions are right, which are wrong. Im sure you know that already. Just make sure you listen to the bottle. In the end, it knows best.

26 G. Gabriel Martinez

Tired of Being Fabulous

Shit fuck crap. Damn it. Im tired. Im tired of working too hard and being too tired. What happened to the good times, the fun times, the times of our lives; going to nightclubs, dancing til dawn, drinking champagne and snorting cocaine. Shit fuck crap. Those werent the good times. Those were the high times. It just seemed like the good times cause we were young and fabulous and behind the velvet rope. Now were old and tired and couldnt give a shit about hot clubs, VIP rooms, or the party of the year. The days of Area are over. Thank you, Eric Goode. I hope that turtle sanctuary in Ojai is working out for you. Wed slink out of the back of a taxi in stilettos and shoulder pads and hair teased into a frothy concoction that defied the night and said were here and were hot. By the time our heels hit the curb, the doorman had unlatched the velvet rope and we were in, a couple of entry tickets slipped into our hands. We strutted down the hallway towards the flashing lights and the thumping music. We did a round of the club from the front dance floor through the unisex bathrooms to the quiet room in the back. A shark tank in the floor. A pygmy on the bar. Annie waved. It was Ruben with Mickey

and Osa. Mickey wore a long plaid skirt he had made himself with the customary black leather jacket, and Doc Martens. He was fabulous. They were fabulous. We all were. A drink appears in my hand and greetings all around. We hadnt seen each other since last night, Wednesday night, at the Cat Club where Billy Idols girlfriend had a floorshow. Punk ballet. Id met him before. Billy Idol. We used the same dealer. At a hair salon in Alphabet City. The coke dealers were all hairdressers from Peru. Theyd make you look great and feel great: backcombing, hair spray, and Peruvian pink flake. Tito was there, kissing Annie and me. He nodded his head in the direction of the bathroom. A Pied Piper, of sorts, as we trotted after him in obedient anticipation, bypassing the line of wannabes. We went into a stall: Tito, Annie, Mickey, Osa, and me. Ruben stayed behind. He had his own supply. Tito pulled out the usual brown glass vial, only his had a silver cover of entwined leaves. A silver spoon. Bumps all around: one nostril at a time, and then again. Outside there was a crash, swearing, and shock. We opened the stall door. A woman was face down on the floor, her skirt hiked up above her waist. A man lay on top of her, his pants pulled down and
30 Juli C. Lasselle

his hard cock pressed against her bare butt. He had a blowtorch in one hand and a crack pipe in the other. Osa said they should have locked the stall door. We couldnt hide our laughter. Why would we? The jaded crowd went back to their cocktails and chatter. We stepped over the couple in mid-fuck to get back to the party. We passed that guy with the parrot. The pygmy walked by. I guess he was on break from working the bar. His clay mask was off and he was smoking a joint. Electronic New Wave pelted us. How does it feel to treat me like you do? Blue Monday. Lets dance. I couldnt feel my feet. High times, good times, Ill sleep when Im dead times. It was the times before we realized that coke was addictive and treatment was somewhere you went, not something you got at the spa. The times before people were dying of some disease that ravaged the West Village and the nightclubs and the theatres; that someone said had come from Ibiza where the Euro-trash partied; that someone else said was simian, the plague that decimated the city. We didnt know what HIV was, only that people were dying. People we knew. People we loved. That was before. Before we woke up and got out. Before we were tired. It was the 80s. It was New York. It was fabulous.

32 Juli C. Lasselle

Six Rivers

(first sensation after silence)

I. white trees escaping, scent of pine. what has the throat bare the air works a silence miming complaint, etc. the serene coals. Ive challenged the star to protect this fame inheritance, brother, invention, brother second chance of grace, this this embrace heat of silence is what the sun circles by one one voice whispers the other fables winter at the first of the year. how do I see what do I know I know scansion to scansion, no what is inside has stole. I trust there is something in the bark busier than rain a tried/true finality, closed mouth sang song that wants

to stretch a beg, beg beneath a limitto stun the pines into nakedness, this this deep of trees a white pyramid against bled mountains scabless blood, momentary exchange front on front. every theory

34 Chris Carosi

II. this language Ive learned how to speak it the working way, through pupil of the sun down on its knee tell me to sit tell me my name in this speech. I wonder on My Feet on my feet, heart prickling stowed on the bridge to run from a season over the idea, a moan twilight inkling of desire known as an idea

its wooden mother earth that is cut rivershape, the plain, a place where I cannot rest snap of drawers groove of hand to find a borne path nearing the fire. orange edge of the steeple it burns or I seek warmth I approach the house certain. because I. sorry I am the meaning. I break
36 Chris Carosi

into videotape myself


III. beyond language. there is no yesterday dwellingplace with no ground or trace of limitinjustice after the flooded road is revealed injustice because the weeks are plain systems they keep apart injustice what has fixed what has twisted the water what courage has yet to break what ice what offering sits calmer they say the surface that is their body invisible, that this is their body like a kept drawer like a candle a clean
38 Chris Carosi

IV. Low pink of sky Shelters the moon the dim clouds The rust of daygone:

if I walk

in my brow and in my hands

in my shoulder and in my mouth


V. if I tear out eyelash and give it to wind that has it pulled from a degenerate skin, this human elastic creature a lion of threads. not the true rooftop not luck, not any of these supposedis there a law experience, a meaning to it priority. design. meaning. now want, stutter. the air works, the feet step and god keeps his distance (good) god remarks slow enough I see luck run out tame itself and keep my ledger blanche myself on the face of another
40 Chris Carosi

keep it in the turning heel your voice in the amplitude mortality the speed of that dress the angle the hem of it momentary momentary god


VI. I watch the lights yonder where they appear small dots in their mechanism they are green yellow red I watch the lights yonder they seem to think of what the birds notice, our lunar glaze our thousand motives three colors

up there, is this our sky unaware of clouds sky the sky greater than sky pushed to the top the deathless place the quiet breach where the birds are tumbled slipping through their
42 Chris Carosi

flights not the company the way the radio leaks saintly message water through mesh been leaking. the avenue seems so strange no rain no rain how has the corrupt chances stopped stop the cars the silvery cars their soft complication


44 Chris Carosi

Kitten Scratches

I am not your battered hardwood floor anymore I am not kitten scratches on softer parts of skin I am not your queen in check, your empty stomach or the absence of your backbone I am not the broken i key on your typewriter I am not your aching fist I am not your bloodstained door I am not the four white walls, bare bulb ceiling you call home I am not your metaphor for a better life I am not your fucking metaphor anymore I am not keeping time on your fathers broken pocket watch I am not lost boy losing myself in fairy tales written by ghosts I am not your mothers medicine cabinet or husbands billfold I am not your ring finger or your empty womb once full I am not your college education on mute I am not your ego and inertia pressed to pulp anymore I am not your excuse for lack of

anymore I am not your desperate smile in high heels I am not your lonely night ritual on repeat I am not your never was I am not your in the way and I never was, and I never was, and I never was

46 Nicole McFeely

Things You Should Hear Before You Die

Never say anything you don't mean unless youre talking to a chrome berretta, or your mother in law, or youre drunk then go ahead and say whatever you have left right is not a direction, but a misguided force fight your propensity to cut through the country like this go west go left This cannot be continued elsewhere, Its a poem written in the night, before you're actually clutching a pen preventing shaking hands from crying out hunger dry tongue from catching diesel fire perpetrating earthquakes within the crust of our consciousness do what you do and walk like thunder moderation is an ideal you should never try to understand nothing was ever accomplished between 9-5 but the hours that most spend dreaming sleeping

dead can teach you more than you'll ever learn in a textbook mirrors lie mirrors are reality reality is a lie so tell everyone you havent met yet feel more without touching another preserve each moment in a jar but never package it profit is meaningless the dead have no use for glorified bits of printed paper money? money is worthless if you don't have the imagination to spend it on one way tickets or anyone who least deserves favors seek your reflection in the faces of clocks spend time with yourself on bridges this will teach you how suicide is the death of someone whose soul is so heavy it sinks dont try to understand it instead, invent a new way to fall shedding insecurities and gold coins trading stale sighs for perpetually full glasses
48 McFeely + Blennerhassett

it gets better: somehow, somewhere, just when you stop looking darkness shares its secrets stop talking start seeing stop listening start writing


50 McFeely + Blennerhassett

Each Day Try It Again

Every new poem is an experiment That wants to explode Toss the ingredients about Like a dainty anarchist Here's a bit of dynamite from a childhood vacation Some anger at the state of the nation Some salt for my wounds Some sugar for my sweet truth Mining for memories Finding none to spare All I do is stare I gaze out the window at a piss yellow building as The blue and cloudy sky chatters like clattering chains on the floor Of a mausoleum scattered with soggy brains I am purposefully Lost in my whiskers Frisky in my artful riskiness Or risky artfulness Frustrated by the empty sifting Of these shifting sand drifting words

Beached like a condom left By a now-burned-out bonfire On a cold beach out of reach. What a bitch! What a bitch when the poem won't come And the looming judge inside Begins his contemptuous asides Despair in the air of my brain Snorting the pain of self disgust and The sure knowledge that this business of making Is completely insane and why can't we all get jobs That we can keep It is not so easy To get a job that you can keep Especially not if you give a rat's ass about poetry Me I keep running out of positions Scandalized by intuitions Too readily dripped to drip drying colleagues Those crusty brainwashed skeletons with dusty teeth Sooner or later somebody always says: Are you sure that you really belong? Not that there's anything wrong.
52 Charles Kruger

Always the same old song. Not that there's anything wrong with us But this nagging distress that insists If we do anythinganything at all But make poetry and artgood or bad Our time is wasted in stillness unspringing like a frog Some filthy bastard stuffed with buckshot I sit and stare out the window And wait for the explosive poem to shout Some of us are loaded guns Better watch out.


54 Charles Kruger


This is your brain This is your brain on drugs Stop This is a brain on drug campaigns; put this in your vice grip: Cracking eggs on heated head plates ; my skull micro waved to a populous blending in with city enclaves. Then yall waved back to be polite in good taste, but I noticed tremors splitting stratospheric head space. Maybe theres a chance that you are high too. Squeezing thesis out of well mannered instincts familiarized, you couldnt help but personify your doubt. I like my eggs over easy; easily overdone. I feel responsibly intoxicated. I have no papers to make you believe these thoughts I deleted in italicized fonts, my eggs in one basket weaved catacomb knots that you cant tie into boy scouts. I have no way to betray my morning love affairs, golden hearted, sizzling in the pan in front of me. Some like their eggs hard boiled, thoroughly cooked, shell intact, water boils over the edge of insanity, where cliff walkers convinced themselves that these

ropes bound hefty safety lines in a place confined to outsiders. To slip and fall was not your tall misshapen egos fault, but that of the masses dragging you down in handcuffs. The man with the plan shakes your head til change falls out, but when you stare down a teapot spout, your water never boils. Some barely even cook their eggs, with little to prevent the gag reflex, they devour the energy to help their day progress. Well, that protein wastes no time before the accelerated high of achievement ends then its passing time with passiveness. Some like their eggs scrambled with a dash of dairy, pairing perceived evolutionary equinox with an unwillingness to move forward through typical plots in biographies no one will read Mix mashing mismatched ingredients, you are the ones who bathe in the idea of bearing children inflamed with virtues and vocabulary that dare not mimic your recipes near the same sleazy hotels youll die in. Your old backyard caked in cigarette butts made the perfect tomb for your unpublished eulogy. Eventually, you realized that your five minute dream of man had no space for the qualms of your
56 Jared Hannum

children. At least you paid for their cemetery plot. Some never wished to cook their eggs at all while they devoured unborn masses like in ancient rituals. There were never gods informing incubation habitation that this consumer was nothing but chicken; never taking time to properly digest the fuel that free will consumes. As my vice grip demands more to squeeze, I need a drink to say this Today was the day that I let my form consume me entirely. From familiar ash costing half a good nights sleep, I regret to inform my family that I am obsessed by something stronger than dreams. And if I eat eggs overly well done, I did myself, deeply into this grave I made. I tried damn well to fit into career molding, aspiring to be something well respected, but I failed to drink the mundane concoction we came up with. I wrote too many capital Is and became comfortable through my missed demeanors. I wasted time while loathing that which I adore, so dont ignore the fact that I might have put myself over the fire. Exhale neurotic air of outside impertinence, and inhale communal well57 sPARKLE & bLINK

being til its body temperature. This seems impossible when youve tried it enough. I just get the munchies; for eggs, so over easy again. Some people throw eggs at houses. Its in you that I chain smokingly confide that there is no space for error in the days you were given on a Christmas morning. When others learned that no fat man existed in the days that theyre gifted, they expanded empathy for the two that enlisted them in destruction. But you still believe in Santa in a world where you dont have the energy to imagine anything past your afternoon coffee line. There are few such as you that deserve division. Envision yourself in some background glamor as you receive no clamor by the dead you are laid rest next to So heart achingly, you demanded no publication while you skipped your first meal and were made to deal with spaces between your chest cavity and hard hat. You designed this two eyed mind, writing linear messages in the spaces on lines and called it a metaphor, like, This is your brain on drugs.
58 Jared Hannum

Cook my eggs over easy, and it might sound cheesy, but there must be something more pleasing than every vice squeezing your thoughts into omelets that no one is eating. Maybe its time to clean my mess in the kitchen; You see, the world through my glossy eyes is one which everyone has a different amount of eggs that they keep in different baskets and people will do what they like with them. This is YOUR brain


60 Jared Hannum

Dream: Indians Bless My Writing Project

AIM, including Dennis Banks, appears and commits to helping me lay out and paste up my sequel to Alice in Wonderland, called Tamar in Tomorrowland, and give their blessing to the book. I decide to put it together with my first book as an internal sequel, since that would make it cheaper to produce. (The new book has, as usual, many names:) RETURN TO WONDERLAND TAMAR IN TOMORROWLAND SPECTRAL STRANDS SPECTRASCAPES Spectrascapes is the collection of elements, a deconstruction of the long story into a series of short stories about a writer's group that traverses tone poems of color, collecting threads and jewels to weave into tapestries of meaning for a collaborative epic future novel. . The Writing Circle members include: Marigold, who spectrascapes. travels


Tamar, who tomorrowland.


Petra Hartzpak, who embraces animals, smooths humans and tries to make sense. Dan Frank, who ties the world together. Elias, who analyzes evidence.

Look for it in your bookstore. Wait as long as it takes.

62 Sharon Skolnick-Bagnoli

Wings Raised Up

The first time they knocked, Mavis didnt hear them. She was in the back room where Philbert stored his things. Shed numbly pulled out his old army hat and folded it inside the thick green uniform along with his Hopi moccasins and a halffinished katsina doll. She laid them all out on the spare bureau again. She picked up an old box and tried fitting everything in. But the katsina doll didnt want to go next to the army stuff and the moccasins wouldnt stay underneath. Soon the box was empty again. The next time they knocked, Mavis was walking to the kitchen on the other end of the house. She stopped in the shadows of the hall that led to the front door. The two heads on the other side of the screen merged and leaned in. Mrs. Yestewa? a woman called. You home? It was a Pahaana voice, each word coming out as clear and hard as a stone. Mavis made herself as small as she could. The last thing she wanted was white people coming around. Philbert hadnt been dead half a day. When Mavis woke up that morning, she looked over and saw her husband lying on his side away from her, one knee bent. Hed seemed fine the night before,

smiling quietly at her, as always, before falling off to sleep. The hand resting on his thigh this morning seemed fine, too, relaxed. But there was something wrong with his fingers. They were too still. She slid her wrist along the dark skin of Philberts back. It wasnt warm or cold, but cool. Bert, she said. Stop playing. When he didnt move, she lifted up the old blue quilt. Nothing looked disturbed or upset. Cut it out, she said, leaning her small body over his. Up close his black hair shone and smelled of the stuff he used to slick it back. His eyes were open, but barely. She touched his knee, hoping hed stir. He didnt. When she leaned further she saw a thin line of blood running from the corner of his mouth to where his face pressed against the pillow. What she could see of his cheek was stained dull red. Shed laid a while beside his body, thinking of nothing. Finally she made herself get up. She pulled the sheet around Philberts body and closed the bedroom door. The next thing she knew she was in the storeroom, moving his stuff around. Weve come about the arrangements for Philbert, a different Pahaana voice from behind the screen said.
64 Laurie Ann Doyle

Mavis had figured after she phoned Soo that the news would work its way through the village pretty fast. Her grandmother knew everyone in Kykotsmovi and was related to at least half of them in the Hopi way. But Mavis never thought word would reach the church on the other side of the highway this quick. Shed told Soo that she wanted to be left alone for a while. But here they were already wanting his body. Philbert had only recently gone the Jesus way. In the seventies, hed retired from the army and started drinking. Hed been on a binge when he and Mavis met nine years ago in The Empty Pockets Saloon in Holbrook. Lost, as Grandmother Soo used to say, clicking her tongue against the backs of her teeth. But Mavis had liked the man shed seen that night. She didnt care that he was old, she wasnt so young herself. She liked the way he fluttered one hand above his head when he talked, like a crow settling peaceably down, or a butterfly trying its wings after the rain. She liked the way his eyes looked slightly off to the left instead of burning their way into her skin like other mens did, making her smile, do things, things that had nothing to do with love. Philbert never made her do anything. Mavis had been the one whod wanted to get married.

Sometime last year, July or August maybe, Philbert had started going to church, the Hopi Mission Church at the bottom of Third Mesa where the sandstone glowed orange-red. The church that had been destroyed by lightning and slowly rebuilt. Philbert never said anything about going, never told her she should go, too. He just disappeared some Sunday mornings and came back around noon. He liked to take off for a few hours here and there and Mavis never bothered about it. Hed had a whole life before her and needed time by himself, she figured. It was her cousin Clifford whod said something. Youll never guess whose greasy black head I saw coming out of church, Mae. When Mavis shrugged, Clifford's lips curled into a frown. Your husband, Philberts. Clifford hated seeing any Hopi go to church. But for a long while now Philbert had been going to the plaza, too, to see the katsinam dance, watch the spirit-beings fill the center of the village: Long Hair, Black Ogre, Centerman. He sat there all day listening to their slow songs of clouds and wind and corn and rain. Philbert had even taken a sack of blue cornmeal to the katsina resting place where they ate mid-afternoon. And the last katsina doll hed carved, Warrior Maiden, had been real good. She looked truly fierce
66 Laurie Ann Doyle

crouching down with her thick bow. The Pahaana whod bought it kept asking for others. Philbert had been carving more now that his health was bad, now that theyd both stopped drinking, and had time on their hands. Lots of Sundays after church he was down at the wash gathering cottonwood for katsina dolls. Mavis sucked in her breath and let it out slow, worried the Pahaana ears could hear even that. She and Philbert had never talked about death, burial, what they wanted, and didnt. It had never seemed right. She always just assumed her husband would be buried the Hopi way, his knees folded towards his head, his thin body wrapped in a blanket and placed without a word between the rocks in the cliffs. In the quiet, Mavis listened to sand blow against the glass of the window, a fly buzz along the screen. There came the caw of a crow. The white women started talking in low voices, whispering words she couldnt hear. She felt her throat get smaller, her heart squeezing inside the wall of her chest. A white sheet of paper slid under the door and flew across the concrete floor until it hit the sandstone wall. Mavis looked at it. Please let Philberts soul awaken in heaven.

Mavis stared at the blue letters until they fuzzed. The note said other things, how Philbert had promised himself to Jesus, and how the church would pay, but Maviss eyes came back again and again to the word soul. Shed heard that word every morning the five years shed gone to the Mission School that both she and Philbert had attended, though a decade apart. The teachers were always saying they should pray for their souls. Mavis wondered whose souls they meant. Hers? Theirs? Someone elses? What exactly was a soul? She imagined a bean-shaped thing the color of fog slipping around in her body, hiding under her stomach, crawling among the bones of her back, something that wouldnt stay put. When Mavis asked Soo, shed just laughed and said Pahaanas thought only one thing was worth saving: peoples souls. Theirs, mostly, Soo had said. Sometimes ours. Pahaanas dont know yet that everything has a spirit: rocks, bugs, rain. Everything.

68 Laurie Ann Doyle

For Miguel, While at the Show

I could have sworn I saw you drum tonight, Mike Strong. And for Robin Guthrie no less. Thought briefly that maybe just maybe you finally played your DJ Spiderman remix of "Cherry-Coloured Funk" for him. MAGICAL. Especially as stoned as I was. just then. As the lights and waves of guitars washed over me. in the graying crowd. my lost teenage. a tiny wound. on the wooden dance floor. under the disco ball. turning slowly in the dark


70 SB Stokes


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